Horror

Killers Are Creeping Around in Your Favorite Comedy Shows and ‘Guide to the Unknown’ Is On the Case [Podcast]

Look, it’s simply true: even the silliest little goose you know could be hiding murderous tendencies. And if television is meant to reflect aspects of our real lives, why wouldn’t psychos slip under the radar in some of our favorite comedies?

On this week’s episode of Guide to the UnknownKristen and Will explore the crimes and theories of The Scranton Strangler of The Office and Dennis Reynolds of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, two welcome sources of darkness griming up otherwise goofy shows.

The Office might be best remembered for Michael Scott and Dwight’s most quotable moments, but another character has a certain corner of the internet by the throat: The Scranton Strangler. It’s a world-building reference that was introduced as a joke when Andy wants to gift Pam and Jim a framed copy of the front page of the newspaper on the day their baby is born since it’s the first day of Spring. Unfortunately, since the baby was a day late, the front page on her day of birth reads, “The Scranton Strangler Strikes Again!”

It’s touched just a few more times through the end of the series; a suspect is apprehended, but it’s never a central plot point.

But fiction-focused web sleuths weren’t convinced, so they jumped on the case and came up with a bunch of suspects who are super fun and, frankly, quite compelling even when the circumstantial evidence for each contradicts each other. Could The Scranton Strangler be Creed? Gabe? God forbid…Toby?

Over in a more urban part of Pennsylvania, a potential killer operates much less in the shadows, relying on looks to hide in plain sight. On It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Dennis Reynolds is Patrick Bateman in Levi’s instead of Armani, willing himself to act above it all while simmering insecurity makes him a menace and a monster to the people around him. Among other things, Dennis’s viciousness expresses itself through a demented formula he’s perfected to scheme his way into a woman’s heart and bolster his self-esteem before abandoning her, which he outlines with relish to his friends.

So eggshell-delicate is his façade of coolness that when a woman upon whom he’s using the system rebuffs his advances, he pounds away to his car to retrieve what he calls “his tools,” which definitely look like murder weapons. His friends talk him down, but what, dude? Somebody call the constable. Something’s wrong in Philadelphia. (And Scranton.)

Check out the episode of Guide to the Unknown that inspired this article:
Apple Podcasts | Spotify | YouTube | Website

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